The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things

Inside his poem I found the answer
to my life’s vocational quest.
Of how to find peace
for a heart filled with pain,
how to ease suffering
and heal unhappy memory.
For years I explored these questions,
the journey was a long one,
yet here was one who knew mystery
and what glorious company he kept,
for in that moment,
I solved my innermost puzzle.

Inside his poem I found the truth.
Strange then, to respond
just moments later,
that if death came a-knocking,
as shocking as it sounds,
I would happily leave this mortal coil,
knowing I had found the peace
I had been born to search for.
For in a single moment,
after a twenty year quest,
the shape of my soul changed,

Inside his poem I found the way
out of my inner journey,
a return to connectedness.
To square the alchemist’s circle,
in walking boots that sought out
the peace of wild things.
To fetch me back from below
and start a new journey above,
bringing with me all I learned.
To tell the universe
how I became a poem,
deeply rooted in the natural world.


Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2018
Divinely inspired by a poem of the same title by Wendell Berry
Image is my own, taken at Wastwater Lake, Cumbria, England.


20 thoughts on “The Peace of Wild Things

  1. “For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ― Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

    Dear Deborah, your poems speak truth that needs to be heard. You’ve inspired me to pick up my pen today, thank you.

    1. Hey, it’s wonderful to hear from you Picasso! Hope your own poems are going well dear poet? Thank you so much for gifting me your inspiring words and sharing Mary Oliver’s brilliant quote on poetry! Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  2. Incredibly wisely written. You may enjoy The Earth Has a Soul by C. G. Jung. A wonderful book for everyone who loves Jung’s way of thinking.

    1. Thank you so much mariquitta for your kind-hearted review and book recommendation. I’ve just added it to my Amazon wishlist. I’m in love with the title already! Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  3. Deborah, your words mirror my own way back to peace – walking in nature whether that be coastal shoreline, woodland, downs or mountains and fells it is where I am happiest, feeling free from the darkest of moods and at one with my Self and nature. Connecting to the natural world is indeed therapy for the soul and you have expressed so beautifully your path to it via Wendell Berry’s verse.

    I also have to say that the image you have used is perfect for the poem – the wildness of the mountains and fells juxtaposed with the serenity of the lake’s waters. It makes me long to visit those shores again myself. Many Summer blessings to you.

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your beautiful review of my poem. It’s amazing how one short poem (Wendell’s) brings home for thousands (if not hundreds of thousands!) the deeply healing qualities of nature. Eco-therapy, forest-bathing, alongside a plethora of recent nature writers are becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so! Thankfully, people are turning back to nature in their droves.

      Wastwater Lake (image above) is for me one the most impressive of the incredible Cumbrian landscape. Interestingly, there’s not many psychotherapists or counsellors either in the North West, England. I sense most people take their troubles to the crags, hillsides and mountains. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  4. Love this Deborah!!! My life has led me into Nature then away from it in my 20s and 30s and now in my 40s I’m turning back to it. I think you will understand I’ve got a few ‘family’ poems left to write before I catch up with you – does that make sense? Sometimes when I’m out in the woods I enjoy Nature’s slow pace, enjoy the music of the birds and the wind. HF

    1. Thank you Henry for your great reply! Yes, I understand those family poems need to be written. Wonderful! Only another poet would write of the “music of birds and the wind.” There’s a new poem in the making! Somewhere in my mid-forties I also began to turn back to nature and this relationship has grown even deeper. So much so, that poetically I’m irresistibly drawn to themes of nature and soul … perhaps this will be part of my soul evolution. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

      1. Thanks Deborah!!! Came across this and thought of you……

        “Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Māori Proverb

        1. Yay! Face the sun and let the shadows fall where they may! Reminds of a Walt Whitman poem, off to search for it now … thank you for sharing! x

  5. I’m deeply moved as, once again, your path reflects and informs my path. I can only respond by saying, “I know. I understand.” I just submitted a piece called “Yes to Life” for an anthology. It’s about being saved from the darkness by lupines, by bluebirds, by butterflies, by the cycles of life in the kingdom of wild things. Thank you, Wendell Berry. Thank you, my dear friend Deborah from across the sea. I just bought a copy of Berry’s book ‘Legacy: Five Stories.’ All I need is time to read it.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your wonderful gift of words! Namaste, my dear friend as your words and path deeply reflect and inform my path. I love the title, “Yes To Life” and look forward to reading more! I sense this poem is (very much like Susan writes below) a homecoming poem to myself and nature … hmm, perhaps I will evolve into a nature poet? It certainly feels like a natural progression after nearly forty years of writing poems. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  6. Dear Deborah, I’m reading your beautiful lines at CDG airport Paris waiting to board to return home and this is the sense I have of your poetry – a sense of returning home -to incorruptible innocence, the peace, joy, beauty of the wildness of all. Happy July ❤️ all blessings to you

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your beautiful reply! Oh my goddess I’m with you on the timing! Or in other words, to think of you, much like this poem now means to me, homecoming, seems to be a remarkable coincidence. Hope your travels have been amazing, looking forward to hear all about them soon! Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  7. Deborah, thank you for sharing your journey. As a student of Jung, I recognize the need to balance out those inner and outer journeys. Greatly pleased to hear you’ve found your way back to connectedness – for one can get lost, if one stays “in” too long.

    The art of soul whispering! I’ve ordered your book.

    1. Thank you so much Hag-Seed for your rich reply! If you’re on Twitter (the land of the little blue bird!) my username is @LiberatedSheep, do pop over and say hello … I follow quite a few Jungians and nature loving folk there!

      Thank you for purchasing my book, btw it’ll take a couple of weeks (by canoe I hear!) to arrive via Blurb. Be wonderful to hear back from you in the next few weeks and months to see what you thought?

        1. If you’d like to read some of my Jungian themed essays, including the “Animus Diet,” do check out the “All the Jung Dudes” category on the right side of the page, below “Archives.”

  8. Beautiful, soulful poetry!! I thought you’d enjoy Wendell’s poem. Your unique poem is a fitting tribute. You might be interested in browsing Faber’s (Publishers) Nature Poet book series.

    1. Thank you so much lisabeth for your wonderful comment and your recommendation re Faber nature poets books … I think I’ve seen these gorgeous books in Waterstones, will take a look as I’m in town tomorrow. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

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